Peru’s Armed Forces said Monday that remnants of the Shining Path rebel group attacked a natural gas work camp in the country’s southern Cusco region.
The attack occurred in the district of Echarate and was aimed at a camp for workers of Transportadora de Gas del Peru, a consortium that operates the pipeline that transports gas from the Camisea fields in the Amazon basin to Peru’s south coast.
According to daily Peru.21, a 31-year-old worker was injured in the attack by a gunshot to the stomach. The worker is in stable condition, the newspaper reported.
The incident occurred in the remote jungle region known strategically as the Vraem, which straddles the valleys of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers. The Vraem is now Peru’s top cocaine producing region.
In 2012, Shining Path rebels in the Vraem kidnapped about 40 workers from two contract companies working with Transportadora de Gas del Peru. Some 10 police officers and military personnel were killed in an ensuing rescue mission.
The consortium temporarily suspended work on expanding the capacity of the pipeline due to the lack of security in the area. Gas transported from the pipeline is an important source for generating electricity in Peru.
Experts believe there are some 300 to 500 Shining Path fighters still active in the Vraem region. The group is far smaller than the Shining Path insurgency that threatened to overthrow the Peruvian state in the 1980s and early 1990s and, actively involved in protecting coca farmers and cocaine producers, has little if any of the ideological principles of the original group.